This is a post to all the new mommies or mommies-to-be out there...
What do I absolutely need?
What can I do without?
What is a non-essencial, but nice thing to have for a new baby?
If you are expecting a baby, you have probably thought about some of these questions. If you are expecting for the second or third time, you are probably wondering what you will do differently this time around. Am I right?
I really haven't had a lot of time to think about this and so I want to start a little "dialog" here.
One of the contributors of this blog, Camila Amorim, is expecting her first baby and she asked me if we could write about this topic.
So here we go:
Just the other day I found this website called simple mom and she wrote an article called "The things you don't need (but they say you do) for a new baby." And here's her list:
1. More than one stroller
2. Shopping cart cover
3. Baby wipe warmers
4. Full-size highchair
5. Diaper pail
6. Baby detergent
7. Changing table
9. Baby lotion
(If you are interested in reading her reasons, click here to see the original post).
Well, I am almost embarrassed to admit, I bought every-single-one of the things on her "You Don't Need" list - except the glider anyway (My mother-in-law still had the rocking chair she used with her last baby, and that's what I used).
Here is what I think:
I bought a travel system (stroller/car seat combo) with my first child, but I sold it when I moved back to Brazil. I brought a "double stroller" to Brazil instead, so I could haul around my two kids at the samem time (I was expecting my second when we moved here, and my daughter was only 15-months-old when Eric was born so we really needed it). After they graduated from the "double stroller" (we rarely use it anymore, it's too heavy and I never go out by myself anyway), we bought two Maclaren Quest strollers which are the BEST strollers EVER! I absolutely love them and I am so glad we purchased them even though they were a little pricey (around $250 each). They are light-weight and fold so easily. They are so easy to manuever and they just glide so smoothly. I don't regret buying the "double stroller" first though, it really helped us a LOT. Sometimes I wish I had a double Maclaren stroller for when I go out by myself, but like I said, that rarely ever happens.
(This is the exact one Jasmine has, and Eric has a brown-and-blue one).
When it comes to strollers, I believe every situation is different - it really depends I guess. All I can say is, take some time to really consider what will work best for your situation.
I think for my next child I am going to get something like this:
Maclaren's Easy Traveler. Can you tell I just love this brand? A woman at my church has this stroller, and it looks like it's so light, and it has this huge, oversized basket underneath it. The only problem is, I'm not sure it comes with a cup holder, which is the ONE thing I really miss from having a "travel system". It says on the description it comes with one, but I can't see it in this picture.
I already have a Graco carseat I could use with this stroller, and best of all, it's only $88!!
For 1st time mothers, if I would have known how bulky those travel systems can get, I would definitely just purchase a carseat and this (and then later on, a light-weight stroller).
2. SHOPPING CART COVER
I bought a shopping cart cover and I thought it was nice because my kids like putting their mouths on the handle - GROSS! I'm no germophobic but I do think it's gross. And plus, you can hang toys and stuff on it to keep your child entertained. Another thing I really liked, there's a little pocket where you can put your car keys in as soon as you lock the door (which was GREAT for me since I hate trying to find my keys in my purse everytime I leave a store).
Truth is, it's not all that necessary, but it's nice to have.
3. BABY WIPE WARMER
I also bought a baby wipe warmer and I don't think it is necessary if you live anywhere outside of Idaho. It was nice to have when Jasmine was a newborn and she would cry everytime I wiped her bottom with the cold wipes. I wasted too much time trying to warm them up in my own hands like Simple Mom suggests, and I don't think it really helped. I used it during the winter months and when she was really little. I didn't use it with Eric and my husband hated it because he said it made the wipes dry out.
4. HIGH CHAIR
I have had 3 full-sized highchairs in the past 2 years and I think I'm just plain stupid. I will get rid of them and will never buy them ever again! They take up SO much space, the child gets isolated from the rest of the family during family dinners, and I always trip over it and hurt myself! Once I even broke my big toe nail in half!
Booster seats work great. We have one at my parent's house and I love it, I wish I had 2 of them at my own house. I even think all the messes they make when they eat would be easier to clean if they both ate at the table because the food wouldn't fall on the floor so much.
This fisher price booster seat (the same one my parents have) only costs $19.99!! You attach it to a chair and it works like a high chair when they are little, and when they get older, you can remove the tray and it works as a booster seat at the table.
5. DIAPER PAIL
I bought the Diaper Genie II and I liked it when the my kids were newborn babies and their poop didn't stink so much, but now I have to keep it outside because I can't stand the smell. So it is nice to have for a while, but if you don't mind going outside and using a regular trash can just for the diapers, I don't think you really NEED this.
Baby Trend Diaper Champ Delux ($34.99)
6. BABY DETERGENT
I don't use baby detergent anymore, but when my kids were born, and up until they were about 6 months to 12-months-old, I used it just because a baby's skin is so delicate and I just think regualar detergent can be too agressive on their skin. Baby detergent has less ingredients that would more likely irritate a baby's skin. You can also use coconut detergent, although I'm not sure if they have that in the USA.
7. CHANGING TABLE
Simple Mom's reasoning behind not getting a changing table was because she believes a dresser with a changing pad on top works just fine, and it's better because it's 2 in 1. I totally agree with her if you already have a dresser, but if you don't, you can buy a dresser that has a changing table on top. I believe having a changing table is a necessity, otherwise you'll kill your back trying to change you children on the bed, couch or floor (pleeeease don't ever change your baby on the floor without a pad or something... I think it's gross)!
We bought this one from Wal-mart for Jasmine, and we still have it, but both the drawers are broken (the front of the drawers came unglued and came off), and it's not very well made. It broke when she was only like, 3 months old, too. I should've returned it, I know.
I didn't have a rocking chair when Jasmine was born, my mother-in-law gave us hers after a while, but I didn't really need it because I didn't nurse her. I would bottle-feed her on the couch or on my bed (which I also did in the middle of the night with Eric when I nursed him), so I guess you'll only really use this during the day, and that is IF you have company or something. I don't know, I guess it's nice to have because it's comfortable for the mom, but I don't really think it's necessary, especially if you're on a tight budget.
9. BABY LOTION
Her reasoning behind not purchasing baby lotion was because she doesn't believe babies need lotion when they're little because they already have the softest skin ever. Well, I disagree. Even at the hospital they gave me this special lotion to put on Eric's skin because it was peeling so much. I think you should be careful with which ones you use during the first few months (I would use a very nutral one, probably even unscented), but I always useed lotion after I gave the kids baths. Jasmine also has very dry skin - especially during the winter - and her skin gets so dry it cracks sometimes. I think this woman probably lives in a more humid area, so it all depends on the situation I guess.
Boy, I wrote so much! It's almost one o'clock in the morning here in Brazil and I'm tired! And I tend to make lots of grammar mistakes when I'm tired so please forgive me.
Okay mommies, what are your thoughts?